It’s beginning to feel like a gamble every time you enter your details into any online form.
Once upon a time, we trusted that when we shopped online or filled out a government tax form, that our personal information would be protected. But news story after news story, have shown otherwise.
Hacks and compromises of large databases of logins, SSNs, phone numbers, and other personal information get reported almost every day. From Target to the Small Business Administration (SBA), it seems nowhere is completely safe when it comes to your digital information.
You can have the best computer support at your location possible, but if a company you’ve entrusted sensitive details to is hacked, you have little recourse.
In April 2020, the SBA notified nearly 8,000 businesses that applied for economic injury disaster loans that their personal information had been exposed.
Sadly, by the time you’re notified of a breach involving your personal information, your details have most likely have already been for sale on the Dark Web for months.
It takes an average of over 6 months (197 days) for a company to identify that a data breach has happened. That means your information can be exposed and used to hack your accounts long before you realize it.
How do you know if you’ve already been hacked or had your login credentials or other information compromised?
Breach Awareness: Free Sites that Scan Your Email Address
There are a number of free websites you can use to stay on top of your personal information. They will scan your email address, or other information, to see if your details have been compromised and are floating out there on the Dark Web.
These free watchdog services scan a number of known databases for breached accounts and well-known sites that hackers use to share content (like Pastebin.com). They also access social media accounts, such as @dumpmon on Twitter that monitor multiple sites for password dumps and other sensitive information.
Why do they do it for free?
Most of these sites will give you initial scan results for free and then offer more robust services on a paid plan. Others are affiliates for IT security apps or services and make money that way.
If you want to take action now rather than waiting six months or more to see if your personal data was hacked, here are sites you can try.
Pwned, a corruption of the word “Owned” – is a term used when your information has been compromised in a data breach. HaveIBeenPwned.com gives you a few different tools to see if your data has been hacked and to stay on top of potential future compromises.
On the site you can:
- Enter your email to have it scanned for breaches
- Sign up to be notified if your email is compromised in the future
- Search for breached accounts across a domain (helpful for businesses!)
- Look through an extensive list of “pwned” websites
Once you enter your email address, the site will let you know how many breaches your email was exposed in and will give you the responsible website names.
On DeHashed, you can choose from a number of search terms to use to see if your personal information is out there on the Dark Web.
Some of the options include:
- IP address
The search results will only show a name of where the information was sourced and to find out more, you have to “be authenticated” on the site. DeHashed offers a variety of personal and business plans for continuous monitoring and searches.
This site states they can help you find out if your password has been exposed online. BreachAlarm also uses an email search to find any associated compromise incidents.
When you initially enter your email address, a popup appears that can be somewhat intimidating. It asks you to confirm your IP address (which it displays) and says that it will be recorded.
The site offers a free plan and paid plans for continuous monitoring of any leaked data based upon your email address.
Another site that lets you input your email to have it scanned for any breaches at no cost is Keeper.
When you initiate the search, the interface provides you with details on how many public data breaches have involved your email address. It also shows you how many stolen passwords are associate with that address.
However, it doesn’t give you any names of sites where the exposure happened, and instead, you’re given an option to sign up for a “BreachWatch Bundle” plan that includes a password manager and other features.
Contact Magnify247.com if your Information has been Exposed
Once you find out that your information has been exposed in a breach, what then? Get in touch with us! We can help you through the next steps to ensure you’re protected.